I like having abs that I can physically see in the mirror. That might seem vain but to me, it is evidence that the effort that I am putting into my health and fitness daily is working. I also like that I have a bicep that shows up when I flex, to me it is a sign that I am getting stronger. I like that my shoulders have become more defined, to me that means that I didn’t quit on myself when it got hard.
However, these are not the things that drive me. I fuel my body with healthy foods because I like having energy, not having pain, and pooping on a daily basis. I chose to exercise regularly because I like how I feel happier, more at peace and energized when I do it. The knowledge that I can confidently wear anything in my closet is pretty incredible, but it is not my motivation.
I have been my “goal size” if you want to call it that for several months now, and my commitment to my lifestyle has only gotten stronger. It turns out that when you get a taste of what feeling good is like you want more of it. While my life is less indulgent than it may have been previously, I am generally happy with where I am and don’t feel like I am missing out (except for the occasional pizza).
I chose to eat healthily and exercise as an example to my kids of what it looks like to have a healthy lifestyle. I feel better because of it which in turn makes me a better mother to them. I am also motivated by my desire for them to have a good relationship with food. I want them to grow up wanting to eat healthy foods so that they don’t have eventually break bad eating habits. I get to be the one who says “no” now in order to make it easier for them to say “no” later. With a family history of high blood pressure and diabetes, I am okay with being the “uncool mom” that feeds her kid’s carrot sticks and grapes instead of Cheetos and Oreos.
If you are reading this and just got offended, I am sorry, please hold off on the scathing email and let me finish.
I truly and genuinely believe that food is fuel. The more that I learn about what fuels me and my kids and how our bodies respond to it has changed how I feed them.
It turns out that when I feed them gluten my eldest gets a rash and my middle child gets a stomach ache. When I feed them anything with red or yellow dye in it they turn into little energizer bunnies that cannot contain themselves. With dairy their allergies are worse, there are more rashes, and more “I don’t feel good complaints.”
Giving my kids foods that I know is not in their best interest would be irresponsible for me because I know better now. Because I am very intentional about our diet I hope to raise happy, healthy children who also see food as fuel and maintain a positive relationship with food.
There are still plenty of sugar filled, processed foods that exclude these ingredients that I could feed them. Thankfully for me, they are a tad more expensive which means that they are a treat and not an everyday thing. Although I do wish that gluten-free bread was less expensive overall we have all adapted to their food limits. It is hard sometimes when I have to tell them “no” to everything everyone else is having when we are out? Yes, absolutely because there are times that under other circumstances I would have allowed it.
Would you like to know what makes it harder? Other adults offering my children food that they can’t have. Other adults telling them that they should be able to eat something,” just this one time.” Other adults lecturing me in front of my children about how limited their diet is, this actually makes it harder for them to accept.
As moms we all try to do our best, instill values, and lead by example and we all do it a little differently. What is something that you do as a parent that is a little unconventional?